Umm, do you mind if I waste your time?

This past Sunday I went grocery shopping at the “W”. It is not my favorite store, but it is very near my house, and I was being lazy. Shame on me – I’ve become complacent in the last two years – shopping at a store whose cleanliness and customer service standards seem to slip week by week. But, its been convenient.

In the checkout line, the young man who was the cashier greeted me when it was my turn with: “Hi, I’ve only got ten – fifteen minutes left on my shift. Do you mind if I waste your time so I don’t have to do anything else?”

Me, surprised at the kid’s lack of work ethic and the “balls” to say something like that to a customer: “Well, actually, I DO mind if you waste my time – so no, its not alright. I have people waiting on me.”

Cashier: “Well, you know…blah, blah, blah…”
and he’s off, ignoring my request to not waste my time, and checking out my groceries at the speed of, well, molasses. Then, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, a customer approaches from behind me and asks him to go her some help in the floral department. You could have knocked me to the floor when he said “Sure, I’ll be right back…” and left his register in the middle of checking me out, to get her some help. Upon his return, he probably could tell that I was less than pleased with this turn of events (tipped off, no doubt by the steam rushing from my ears, and the throbbing vein in my forehead) and said to me “See, it didn’t take that long…”

So the moral of the story is: After an email to the corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania, with a return acknowledgement and brief apology for the poor service, I won’t shop there any longer. There are too many other grocery stores in the general vicinity who do want my business, like: Shoppers, Safeway, Giant and even Food Lion.

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